Coming back from injury is never easy, but when you had the kind of year in 2012 that Elvis “The King” Mutapcic had, it makes things a little less painful.
In three fights, Mutapcic managed to finish all three opponents and in the process he captured the MFC middleweight championship.
“I would have liked to have gotten another fight in and not had so much space in between fights coming off injury and all that, but I think the year went pretty good,” said Mutapcic.
“I feel like every time I take a little bit of time off and I come back, I come back better, so that was definitely the case last year.”
Mutapcic told MMAWeekly.com that his win over Joseph Henly in October was especially rewarding for multiple reasons.
“Joseph had a big name from The Ultimate Fighter – that I tried out for and didn’t make past the first round – so to beat somebody like him that was on the show, it feels pretty good,” said Mutapcic. “And to get that strap around my waist made it so much better.”
Mutapcic’s first fight of 2013 and his first title defense will come against another TUF alum in Sam Alvey in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, live on AXS TV on Friday night.
“He feels he matches up well with me and I feel the same way,” said Mutapcic of Alvey. “He is a wrestler who prefers to stand and strike, and I’ve heard in the past that he’s very confident in his striking, so there’s a good chance blows will get traded.
“I think I’m more of a technical overall striker than him, and even though he’s a wrestler, I’m very confident in my wrestling and very confident on the ground too, if he wants to take it there, which I don’t think he will unless he gets hurt. But then again we’ll see how it goes and how he reacts.”
Being that it is his first title defense, Mutapcic was asked if he felt any additional pressure, to which he responded, “I really don’t think there’s any added pressure.
“(Being a main event) it’s a five-round fight either way you look at it. And it’s another fight against a tough opponent, so if there’s any added pressure it’s not because it’s a title fight.”
For Mutapcic the goal for 2013 is simple, pursue his MMA career more seriously and take things as they come.
“I’m reassessing after every fight to see where I’m at,” he said. “At the same time, I’d love to become a full-time fighter by the end of this year. That’s the main goal. Then again, I’m going to go one fight at a time and see where it gets me.”